What Should I Buy After the Blood & Plunder Starter Box?

If you’re just starting out with Blood & Plunder, it can be overwhelming to figure out what products to buy to get started. The 2-player Blackbeard vs Maynard Starter Box is a great place to start for Blood & Plunder. Assuming you’ve already picked that up, now what? This guide will help you know what to buy next. We’ve broken things down by Factions to try to make it easier.

Getting Started with Blood & Plunder

We have an extensive guide to the basics for getting started with Blood & Plunder. As a first step, it involves buying the Raise the Black Blackbeard vs Maynard 2-player Starter Box. This set is fantastic and the best place to start in Blood & Plunder. For $145, you get everything you need to start playing. 24 models, 2 commanders, 2 sloops, rules, tokens, maps, dice and more!

But… if you’ve done that, what’s next? Blood & Plunder is a deep game with lots of force-building options and possibilities and a great line of miniatures available from Firelock Games. In this article we’re going to look at various ways to expand your force beyond the Starter Box.

You can check out each of the various “Nations” you can play as in Blood & Plunder. We will make recommendations for what models, books, and ships will be helpful as you grow your Blood & Plunder force(s). Take it slow and don’t let this make you feel overwhelmed. When you’re ready for that “next purchase,” we hope this will be a helpful guide!

Quick Links to the Nations

This is a long article organized by Nations. Feel free to skip to your chosen nationality:

A Word on Types of Firelock Miniatures

Firelock currently carries a few styles of minis:

  • METAL – their original 1-piece metal minis. Everything prior to the release of Raise the Black in late 2022 is metal. These are ready to use straight out of the box. They tend to have more “national flavor”, where the clothing style may look more Spanish per see or the haircuts and facial look distinctly British or French.
  • PLASTIC – With Raise the Black, Firelock Games changed to plastics to combat the high cost of metal. The hard plastic models require assembly to use. They may be more work, but they are also more flexible and the kits can be used to make WIDE variety of models., they have more “national flavor,” and it can be easier to tell units apart.
  • SiOCAST – This is a new technology being used to create models in the US at a cheaper price. Currently all models of this type are single-piece models ready to go out of the box. This style of miniature production is the current path Firelock is using for future miniature release of specialty units or units that are hard to justify a fully customizable kit.
  • 3D Printed – there are a few 3D printed models out, but these are rare. Before moving to Plastics and SiOCAST, Firelock experimented with 3D-printed models. These mini options are primarily in the Natives.

All of these styles of minis are wonderful models and can be mixed up without any visual discontinuity! If you plan on using mostly plastic models, don’t forget to at least check out the metal commander models!

Pick Your Favorite Nation

Blood & Plunder has 7 main Nations. Each has its own playstyle and historical flavor. The Pirates, English and Spanish tend to be the most popular. But there is no one Nation that dominates the landscape or wins consistently at tournaments. We have an extensive collection of articles for every nation and add new factions regularly. A great starting place to learn about the Nations and the options available is our Ultimate Guide to Blood & Plunder Nations & Factions.

Your Nation determines what models work best for your armies. There are a number of units that overlap or can be used by multiple nations, but your choice of Nation affects what to buy.

What Type of Player Are You? What Type of Players Are in Your Group?

Historical Accuracy

Are you in the game for its historical aspects? Do you want your units to match specifically what each nation used on the battlefield? Blood & Plunder does an excellent job of researching and studying the history of the era and there is a great deal of detail in the game. The interesting thing about the game is that in this time period, the uniforms were far less structured or may not even exist. In the frontier life of the New World practicality trumped formality so men wore what was functional rather strict military standards. Most privateers were civilians, as were the Militia. They fought it what they owned. The later into the era you play, the more formal the militaries became, particularly for soldiers and the royal navies.

If you are a history buff, there are plenty of options to implement weapons and paint schemes that match the era. Particularly in the more formal military factions Like the British, French or Spanish Royal Navies The game included lots of historical content in terms of timeline and narrative backgrounds. All commanders, units, and ships are historically based and researched.

The If you aren’t into history, that’s ok too. Don’t stress over getting things “perfect”. Create your units and paint your models how you like. The game is more than friendly enough to not stress over.

Tournament Play

Blood & Plunder can be played competitively. While there isn’t as large a tournament scene as other games, there is a respectable number of tournaments held at major conventions every year. For tournaments you MUST have official Firelock Games ships, as their shapes and capacities affect gameplay, and 3D printed ships or homemade designs can present issues of “modeling for advantage”. As a general rule of thumb, most tournaments allow proxy models for individual units as long as the bases are 20mm.

Your minis should try to reflect the nature of the unit. Do they have muskets? Use Musket models. Pistols? Use pistols. Bows? Bows. Keep things close and you’ll be golden.

Sea Tournament at Adepticon 2023

Purely the Fun of the Game

You probably like Blood & Plunder because pirates are cool. We agree. If you like the fun of the game and cool pirates, don’t stress too heavily over the perfect minis. One of the unique things about this game is its flexibility. Unlike other games where VERY specific units are required you can “fudge” things a bit. A Sailor for the British could just as easily be used for a Sailor in the Spanish or Dutch factions. A musket is a musket. So if you get your weapons right on the models, it’s more about being open, honest, and upfront with your opponent about what your army contains. Show them your force list and answer questions and everyone should be good.

The Lethbridge Pirates Gaming Group – during “Summer of Plunder”
Pirate Faction Divider banner for Blood & Plunder

What Should You Buy to Play Pirates in Blood & Plunder?

Pirates logo for Blood & Plunder

In general, the Pirate factions favor playing games at Sea or Amphibious assaults, but they can be taken in Land games as well. They use primarily a sailor style of model and there are many different options available from Firelock’s range of minis right now!

Pirate Model Recommendations

Since your Core Units are all some sort of sailor, it’s always a good idea to have lots of them so you never have a shortage of crew. Make sure you save those bits as they allow for some solid conversions or gear for other units!

The Pirates have several options to use Natives as Support Unit. These are typically African Warriors, Warriors, and Warrior Musketeers. A single box of plastic Native Americans will get you 12 models. Unfortunately, all 3 Native unit types have very different weapon types so you may want two boxes and do 8 bows, 8 muskets, and 8 melee focused.

Pirate Book Recommendations

  • No Peace Beyond the Line – This contains a number of Pirate Factions options, but they fall under the “Unaligned” Nation at the time of this book. They did get their own full “Nation” until the Raise the Black expansion.
  • Raise the Black – The Pirates take center stage in this book and the Expansion is a MUST HAVE.
  • Fire On The Frontier – Skip it. It contains ZERO content for the Pirates.
18th Century Sloop and sailors models for Blood & Plunder

Pirate Ship Recommendations

As a primarily sea-faring Nationality, your ship choice will depend on the games you want to play. The 18th Century Sloop is great for up to 200 points, and can be used in both Sea Games and Amphibious Games due to its low points cost and hilariously beefy armament. From there, the Brigantine is a great choice since it can be played as 3 different variants: The Speedy Privateer Brigantine, the standard Brigantine, and the fantastic Sloop of War! For the most aspiring Captains, the Light Frigate and 6th Rate Frigate offer more guns and playability at 300+ Points! These ships offer respectable firepower with a heavy focus on boarding in larger games. Once you have a few games under your belt, you’ll be able to figure out your preferred playstyle and acquire ships accordingly.

  • An 18th Century sloop from the starter box will suit you fine for a while. You can use both ships in your force as an option.
  • Brigantine – The Brigantine is a 3 Deck ship can be configured as a Sloop of War which gives it speed and it comes with 4 Swivel Guns on the front deck which are perfect for softening your opponent up on the way in.
  • Light Frigate – Fast and nimble it’s great for boarding focused forces in larger games.
  • 6th rate Frigate – This is the Queen Anne’s Revenge style of Pirate flagship! A beautiful and powerful ship any pirate would be proud of.
Spanish Faction Divider banner for Blood & Plunder

What Should You Buy to Play Spanish in Blood & Plunder?

Spanish Faction Logo for Blood & Plunder

Spain controls huge parts of the New World during this era. The Spanish player will often play as a defending Militia or garrison style force against the marauding pirates. Or you can play as the patrolling Spanish Guarda Costas or Navy, hunting down pirates to make your treasure fleets more safe.

Spanish Book Recommendations

The Spanish are one of the core 3 factions released in the original edition of Blood & Plunder so they are sprinkled in everything but Fire on the Frontier.

  • No Peace Beyond the Line – This book has 8 Spanish factions and lots of commander from the 17th century. Very valuable for the Spanish player.
  • Raise the Black – Spain has some really fun new options in this book, making it a must-buy after your core rulebook! Priests, Hildalgos, big cannons! Spain is really fun in this book
  • Fire On The Frontier – As a Spanish player, you can skip it (unless you are a collector and want all the books). This contains ZERO content for Spanish.

Spanish Model Recommendations

One of the fun things about playing the Spanish in Blood & Plunder is they have a LOT of unit options. But that also makes it hard to recommend a certain set of units. You’ll need some militia for sure! Those are useful in pretty much every faction.

At sea, you’ll need a lot of sailors, either as gun crew or as Corsarios with muskets or boarding party veterans with explosives and blunderbusses.

On land, you can go in a couple of different directions. If you want to run more of an official army list, pick up a couple of Soldier Unit Boxes and you’ll be set. You can also have lots of Native auxiliaries and can cherry-pick from the whole native unit selection. The Spanish also have some of the fanciest cavalry and can do artillery on land as well. Plus the have some really great Lancero skirmishers with lances. They are probably the most complex to buy into but also offer great diversity in force styles.

Spanish Commander Model Recommendations

Spanish matchlock wielding troops prepare to fire on their enemies

Spanish Armada/Guarda Costas

This style of play focuses on Sea Battles and combat.

Spanish Militia

This force style focuses on Land and Amphibious style of play. It also relies on alliances with Native Units. This has a wider range of units and also sets you up to easily move into the Natives nation.

Spanish Army

Land combat is the primary focus of this faction. It focuses a lot of several core units of the Spanish and is a little more narrow in playstyle.

Ship Recommendations for Spanish

Historically, Spain tended to have heavier, slower ships.

  • An 18th Century sloop from the starter box is a great little ship! Great for a light Guarda Costas patrol ship.
  • Light Frigate – Configurable as a solid gun platform this is a solid option for medium to large games.
  • Galleon – This beast is the signature ship of the Spanish of the day. It’s a pricey option but a gorgeous ship you’ll want to play as often as you can, but it typically is only featured in 400pt+ games.
English Faction Divider banner for Blood & Plunder

What Should You Buy to Play English in Blood & Plunder?

The English have had a prominent role in every book released for Blood & Plunder. In reality you can’t go wrong buying every book and expansion available. You can go several different directions with the English/British and your intended focus will heavily influence which models will be helpful.

English Book Recommendations

Let’s look at which books might be valuable for you, then which models will be most helpful for the various ways to play the English, then what ships might good for you.

  • No Peace Beyond the Line – This book focuses on the later half of the 17th century. The English have plenty of options here ranging from Buccaneers to Militia to Expeditionary Forces.
  • Fire on the Frontier – This adds multiple options for the North American conflicts of King Philip’s and King William’s Wars. Some great English material but it is more useful in land games than sea.
  • Raise the Black – Early 18th century focus. A must-have for all English Players with lots of fun new commanders and factions, including the British Royal Navy.

English Model Recommendations

Assuming you have the Blackbeard vs. Maynard Two Player Starter Box, you have a great setup for pretty much any English sea faction. Here are several different styles of English forces and the models that will help you fill out and grow your army. Products listed in approximate order of usefulness.

English Blood & Plunder Miniatures in front of the Governor's Mansion from the Miniature Building Authority prepainted wargaming terrain product line
An English Commander model preps his soldiers for battle!

English Buccaneers/Pirates

For an English buccaneering style force, you’ll want a good number of basic sailor/Sea Dogs models with pistols, cutlasses and blunderbusses in addition to various units with long Muskets or Buccaneer Guns. You can make most of the units you need with the plastic Sailor kit, possibly supplemented by parts from the Militia box for variety. A few metals thrown in can add variety and some more national flavor.

English Frontier Wars

This style of English force is a variation on the Militia style but adds Native American auxiliaries which gives a whole new feel to a European army. The cheaper plastic Militia box set is be a great place to start, supplemented with the the metal Indian Fighters and North American Native models. The Native American Unit box is pretty Caribbean focused at the moment.

English/British Militia or Army

For land games, the English have a good variety of Militia and Army factions. The new plastic Militia and Soldier sets can provide most all of what you need and you can supplement with metal models for national flavor and model variety. The starter box minis won’t be as helpful here but anything armed with a musket could count as a militiaman.

English Royal Navy/Pirate Hunters

The British/English have one of the best Royal Navy factions in the game. If you want to shoot big cannons, this is the style for you! You’ll need lots and lots of sailors and maybe some Soldiers for Marines.

The 2-player Blackbeard and Maynard Start box in action on the wargaming tabletop!

English Ship Recommendations

  • An 18th Century sloop from the starter box will be a great ship for you. It can be a pirate hunting sloop, or a quick Buccaneer vessel. Very versatile.
  • Resin Brigantine using the Sloop of War alternate rig
  • Light Frigate – Configurable as a solid gun platform this is a solid option for medium to large games.
  • 6th Rate Frigate – this ship has large decks perfect for hordes of Muskets, but can also be a solid gunboat.
French Faction Divider banner for Blood & Plunder

What Should You Buy to Play French in Blood & Plunder?

The French tend to favor musket units. They have good Buccaneering, Naval, Caribbean and North American Frontier factions to choose from.

French Book Recommendations

The French are one of the core Nations that have been in the game from the beginning and are featured in every expansion to date. As a French player you would find benefit in every book.

French Model Recommendations

If you want to play lots of sea battles as the French, it’s hard to go wrong with more copies of that plastic Sailors Unit Box. You can add some of the metal Marins for extra French Flavor, along with some Flibustiers for your well-armed, musket-wielding unit. You’ll want some of the Soldier Unit Box if you want to be less Piratey and lean more towards the French Royal Navy.

If you want to play on land, the plastic Soldier and Militia Unit Box are going to give you affordable and flexible options. The current set of metal minis provides some fun variations between the North American Canadian forces and the Caribbean French forces. In the North American theater, the French were very closely allied with Native Tribes so many of their models can be very helpful if that’s your focus.

French commander and his men in a Blood & Plunder 28mm scale longboat

French Ship Recommendations

  • An 18th Century sloop from the starter box will suit you fine for a while.
  • Frigate – Configurable as a solid gun platform this is a solid option for medium to large games.
  • 6th Rate Frigate – this ship has large decks perfect for hordes of Muskets, but can also be a solid gunboat.
French models in a new 18th Century plastic sloop for Blood & Plunder
Dutch Faction Divider banner for Blood & Plunder

What Should You Buy to Play Dutch in Blood & Plunder?

The Dutch have only two factions in the Raise the Black Expansion. Their primary source book is No Peace Beyond the Line.

Dutch Book Recommendations

  • No Peace Beyond the Line – The majority of the Dutch Factions and options are contained in this book.
  • Raise the Black – there are only two Dutch Faction options in this book, but there are 4 new Unit types and a number of commanders available.
  • Fire On The Frontier – Skip it. It contains ZERO content for the Dutch.
Dutch models in a resin sloop by Firelock Games

Dutch Model Recommendations

The Core Unit of the Dutch is the Zeelieden.  They show up as an Core or Support Unit in literally every single Faction available to the Dutch.  They also show as options in almost every other nation in the game in some capacity.  The Dutch were known as great sailors so they were often incorporated into the ranks of anyone willing to pay for their services.

You can purchase Zeelieden in metal and the European Sailors Sailor Weapon Upgrade unit are perfect.   Alternatively, you can craft your own using the Sailors or Militia boxed set depending on the unit options you take.  Their default setup is a pistol and standard melee weapon.  But they can be configured to have Blunderbusses, Muskets and Explosives.

Zeelieden Model Recommendations


  • Sailors – Use 100% of the Explosive options, focus on the pistols and melee weapons for the rest
  • Militia – Good for the Musket varieties

Enter Ploeg

These are like the Navy S.E.A.L.S. of the 18th century. They are highly skilled at fast boarding and clearing enemy ship in close range combat. They have great Resolve and shrug off Fatigue. I would buy/make at least 8 of these models.


  • Sailors – Use 100% of the Explosive and Blunderbuss options, then focus on the pistols and melee weapons for the rest

Militie / Kapers / European Sailor Musketeers

These are the default musket-style troops of the Dutch. Militie are the generic inexperienced militia. Kapers and European Sailors are the Trained versions of the musket troops. Of the two, the Euro Sailors are typically the better option. All of them have specific metal models or can be crafted with the Sailor or Militia plastic model Kits


  • Militia – Good for any of Musket varieties
  • Sailors – 4x with Muskets

Jamaican Privateers / Soldoten / Vrij Compagnieen

These are the more elite musket-wielding troops of the Dutch.


What to Buy as a New Dutch Player

The following is our recommendation for a solid army for the Dutch.

Target Models

  • 18-24 Pistol/Melee models (Zeelieden)
  • 8-12 Elite Melee models with pistols, explosives and blunderbusses (Enter Ploeg)
  • 8-12 musket models (European Sailors or Kapers)
  • 8-12 musket soldiers (Militie or Soldaten)

What Minis to Buy

Dutch Ship Recommendations

  • An 18th Century sloop from the starter box will suit you fine for a while.
  • Brigantine – The Brigantine is a 3 Deck ship can be configured as a Sloop of War which gives it speed and it comes with 4 Swivel Guns on the front deck which are perfect for softening your opponent up on the way in.
  • Light Frigate – Fast and nimble it’s great for boarding focused forces in larger games.
  • Fluyt – this is a signature ship of the Dutch so it’s a perfect high-end option for 400pt+ games.
Natives Faction Divider banner for Blood & Plunder

What Should You Buy to Play Native Americans in Blood & Plunder?

Natives logo for Blood & Plunder

The Natives are unfortunately at a distinct disadvantage with the 2 players Starter Box and it contains zero specific models for the Native Core units. You can go in two distinct directions with Native Americans: Caribbean or North American. If you want to focus on Native Americans in Blood & Plunder, you an skip the Blackbeard vs. Maynard starter set entirely and just buy Native units.

Natives American Book Recommendations

The Natives weren’t in the original edition of Blood & Plunder and didn’t appear until the No Peace Beyond the Line Expansion. They are also the prominent Nation in Fire on the Frontier which focuses on the Natives, English and French.

  • No Peace Beyond the Line – This focuses primarily on the Caribbean-style natives of Central and South America.
  • Fire on the Frontier – This presents a massive upgrade to the Natives and focuses on the North American conflicts and units. This is a MUST-HAVE for any Native player
  • Raise the Black – this book continues where Fire on the Frontier left off. 3 new Native Units, 9 new Factions and 8 new commanders.

Native American Model Recommendations

The Native American factions have the fewest different models to choose from, but there is a real divide between Caribbean and North American style miniatures.

Caribbean Native Americans

If you want to play the Caribbean, archery & poison style Native American forces found in the No Peace Beyond the Line expansion, the new Native American Unit Box is the cheapest way to go. You get 12 flexible models for $29. This is the most complex and fiddly of the plastic multipart kits, but you can do a lot of things with it! The Native American Starter Box of metal minis is considerably more expensive at $139 for 25 models, but you don’t have deal with tiny little bits and make decisions on how to build your minis. It comes with 8 Warrior Archers, 8 Young Warriors, 4 Warrior Musketeers, 4 African Warriors, and 1 Caribbean Native Commander. The one unit that the metal Nationality Box doesn’t come with is the Native American Warrior unit that just has melee weapons. These can be pretty useful in most Caribbean Native lists.

  • Native American Commander (you can make a commander out of the plastics, but if you want a unique pose for your commander, this metal model is pretty great)
Blood & Plunder Natives with a Captured Merchant mini
Caribbean Natives in a Piragua boat

Best Caribbean Unit Purchases


Additional Caribbean Native Options

Ships for Native Americans

Two 28mm dugout canoes with Blood & Plunder models
A variety of Native models in Canoas

The Natives are the weakest faction at sea, because historically they didn’t have big larger ships of war. That isn’t to say they aren’t competitive at sea, only that their tactics are much different than the other factions. You will need to focus on quantity over quality.

  • 2-6 Canoas or Birchbark Canoes = they hold 9 and 11 models respectively so do the math on your force size.
  • 1-2 Piraguas = Up to 20 models each. You can’t use the Swivel Guns that make Piraguas so attractive to European style forces, so Canoes are often a better choice.

The benefit of the Natives boats is that they also work well for every other faction, particularly for amphibious games so you can get more use out of these ships.

Ideal Caribbean Native Setup

Here’s what we consider an ideal set of product to get you fully set up to play and enjoy the Caribbean style Natives in Blood & Plunder.

Best North American Native Purchases

Blood & Plunder also lets you play the game as some of the many tribes and confederacies in North America that interacted with the colonies and pirates of the era. Firelock models for North American Natives have been a little difficult to acquire and may or may not be available on the Firelock site right now. The new Native American Unit box of plastics is really geared more towards Caribbean Tribes, Maroons and Black Caribs and isn’t very helpful here. You CAN use them, but they just don’t look very North American (at all).

The primary model you’ll want a lot of is the Braves unit. These minis are currently available in metal but will be made in SiOcast at some point. The other two main units are the Young Braves and Pnieses. These have been produced in a high quality 3d printed resin, butthey aren’t always been available on the Firelock website. I hear they are pretty high priority to get produced in SiOcast, so hopefully they will be available soon!



  • Nothing currently available

Ideal North American Native Setup

Here’s what we consider an ideal set of product to get you fully set up to play and enjoy the North America Native Americans in Blood & Plunder.

Unaligned and Minor Powers

The “Unaligned and Minor Powers” factions are so varied and diverse, you really have to approach them on a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately, we can’t give you specific recommendations. Your best bet is to review the books No Peace Beyond the Line and Raise the Black. Each expansion book contains several Unaligned and Minor Power factions. Pick your favorite to see what Unit options they have and go from there.

Most of them are either “Militia” style forces or some variation on Native/African style forces. For the former, the plastic Soldier Unit and Militia Unit Boxes will be your best minis. For the later, the Plastic Native American Unit Box will serve you well.

The Portuguese have several factions in the Unaligned category, that would benefit from Militia/Army and Navy style factions. You can follow the Spanish recommendations for appropriate models for Portuguese factions.

The Maroons are a popular Unaligned Faction

Final Thoughts

Blood & Plunder is a big, rich, and rewarding game! We’re glad you’re interested and we’re here to help you make smart purchases. We hope this helps you plan your future purchases. If you’re considering a certain force or play style, we’re happy to answer questions and make more specific recommendations so drop a comment on this post or on our Facebook page!

2 thoughts on “What Should I Buy After the Blood & Plunder Starter Box?

  1. Great guide! Very comprehensive and good advice for newcomers, and even useful for anyone who wants to jump into another faction after their first.

  2. Pingback: Prizes & Awards! - 2023 Summer of Plunder Final Update - Blood & Pigment

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